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The Bob Swanson Memorial Exploration Grant

This grant was created by the owners and staff of Big Agnes in honor of our adventurous and worldly colleague Bob Swanson who passed away in 2016.

Bob Swanson, The Tent Guy.

Few in the outdoor industry today know of Bob Swanson or his major contributions to our industry. He co-founded Sierra Designs, founded Walrus tents, then sold that to REI and followed it up by working for REI for several years before going out on his own as a consultant. Big Agnes was fortunate enough to connect with him, and a long relationship was born. His passion for design centered on tents and tent architecture. He is widely recognized for ushering in the use of hubs into tent architecture and represented the cutting edge of shelter designers. We had the pleasure of working with Bob here at Big Agnes for more than a decade. His business card included the title, ‘The Tent Guy’. And while that was fitting professionally, he meant so much more to us as a friend, role model, sage and pioneer of the outdoor industry. Our grant committee will seek to help those who seem to best embody Bob’s spirit and love of life and adventure.

Let us help fund your adventure.

In Bob's memory, the grant will award funds of varying amounts depending on the prospective project needs and its budget. Grants will generally fall between the $500 to $1,000 dollar range. Grants will be awarded once a year and will be announced at the Winter Outdoor Retailer Snowshow.

Learn More About Bob

How to apply.

The 2021 application was opened on September 8th, 2021 and closed on November 22nd, 2021. This year's winner will be announced at the Winter Outdoor Retailer Snowshow in January, 2022.
Thank your for your submission, and stay tuned for details about future grant applications. Good luck!

Madison Williams – Expedition Alpine,
2022 Bob Swanson Memorial Grant Recipient

Madison Williams started kayaking at the age of seven while spending the summers at her grandparent’s house in Maine. This summer she will embark on a solo kayak journey over 1,600 miles from Minneapolis, Minnesota, to York Factory, Manitoba in Canada up on the Hudson Bay. Her trip will go from urban city center to sub-artic rapids in some of the most remote wilderness left in North America. Throughout her journey she hopes to accurately portray the stories of people living along these waters and the difficulties their waterways face.
Learn more about Madison Williams and Expedition Alpine